Advertising Agency provides certain basic or common services and then different types of advertising agencies provide different classes and types of goods and services.

The single main thing that any advertising agency should provide is marketing.

Companies have to be very careful when evaluating the briefs of any advertising agency as there are advertising agencies that provide products and services not usually supplied by advertising agencies and not related to MARKETING at all.

When an advertising agency also provides or re supply mobile phones and mobile phone contracts, internet connectivity, internet hosting, vehicle servicing or truck maintenance: You have to tread very carefully and verify any statements or claims any such an advertising agency makes. Some advertising agencies also try to provide dog walking services and even delivers coffee and snacks to your offices on a weekly basis. Remember that CLIENTS pay for snacks delivered by an advertising agency, to their offices… Also, always remember that advertising agencies generally do not clean toilets or walk dogs or provide cellular towers and cellular communication services. It is understandable that certain advertising agencies try to maximise revenue from a single client and some will stoop quite low in order to peddle any additional product or services… So BE CAREFUL!

Special Note: When any advertising agency offers to “host your website” ALARM BELLS should be going off. Who measures the advertising agency campaign effectiveness? Who collects data? Who informs you whether that advertising agency is in fact delivering? Why is an advertising agency now reselling web hosting? Do you have control and ownership of your own domain, website, website data? There are so many issues and problems in such a situation. In some cases the “advertising agency” now also owns your domain name, your website data, and not only do you have no control but you also do not have your own data, your own tracking and your own statistics…

Another thing to be careful for is when Advertising Agencies offer smoke and mirror services.

Smoke and mirror services include (but is not limited to) “SEO”, “SEM”, “Website Maintenance” or “SSL Certificates” or many other ‘mysterious’ things…

I recently had the pleasure of reading a brief from an advertising agency where the agency described SSL (HTTPS) certificate provision in over six pages of long and tediously defined specifications (some copied and pasted from the public SSL specification itself)

So, also be very aware that just because it is six pages long, it could still be hooha and “smoke and mirrors” (Your hosting or IT company can install a FREE SSL certificate on your domain – or purchase an EV or other certificate at a competitive price)

Sometimes these FREE ssl certificates are sold for thousands of rands. Sometimes GPL licensed FREE software is sold for thousands of rands (this is legal) and sometimes clients are even charged for the FREE updates, also thousands of rands. (This too is legal as open source free  software may be sold – if you can find someone willing to pay for something they can also get for free)

When dealing with any advertising agency always check their quote properly. Listen to what they are saying are they already now eluding to supplying you with phones? cars? Notebooks? Toilets? Trucks?  – If their are any alarm bells, rather find a different advertising agency, one that supplies you with advertising. And advertising agency which does what advertising agencies are supposed to be doing: MARKETING. (Not walking your dog, connecting you to the Internet or hosting your emails)

The bottom line is this: If an advertising agency provides you with MARKETING and you track the number and quality of website visitors, this “marketing” should also reflect in the actual statistics, contacts and increase in business. It should result in higher traffic, higher brand awareness and the basic effect of any marketing can easily be seen in your website traffic.

For example: If the brand is “Donkeys walking on clouds”  and the website is in the number one position in Google, called

On the website statistics – any “Brand Awareness” or brand activity – will be easily seen by a spike in website traffic to the website, and to the social media accounts

many “Advertising Agencies” are also the same people who install the tracking metrics for the client – not only do they offer “marketing” but they also police and track their own efforts and then report, usually in tediously long and advanced levels, to the “client” on how great they are doing…

What should happen, but frequently does not, is: The client should appoint a third, independent party, to track the metrics and provide reporting on how effective the marketing provided by any advertising agency, is.

Large Corporate clients in fact do track performance of advertising agencies, but the medium sized and ‘smaller’ companies do not as they do not have a seperate IT division and usually outsource their IT and IT services to contractors or contractor companies.

Bottom line: When dealing with any adveritisng company do spend the effort to make sure that you are not wasting money on “smoke and mirrors” and do try to independently track the performance of your selected advertising company, independently or by yourself…

It is much easier than you think. It is really not that hard to do.

Be VERY careful when any advertising agency also offers to HOST YOUR WEBSITE and then also operate your METRICS, STATISTICS and TRACKING :

Generally these advertising agencies operate with no oversight.

The main goal is to supply the client with “marketing” and then TRACK how effective they are, themselves and then they report to the client, their own “numbers”

Also, they make a tidy profit from reselling usually low quality hosting products from wholesale suppliers. Which the client of course also pays for…

My dad used to say: A Sucker is born every day…. and some advertising agencies hunt and find suckers which they can bleed on an ongoing basis, for a long time.